Aim: To evaluate the effects of rapid maxillary expansion (RME) and face mask combination therapy on the soft and hard tissue profile and to determine the possible correlations between hard and soft tissue changes. Methods: Soft and hard tissue parameters were measured in cephalometric radiographs of 33 subjects. The treatment group consisted of 18 Class III patients (11 males and 7 females, mean age 11.7 ± 1.9 years), and the control group contained 15 untreated Class III subjects (10 males and 5 females, mean age 9.1 ± 2.5 years). Soft tissue Arnett analysis was used to evaluate the profile changes in both groups after treatment or observation. Paired- and independent-sample t tests were used for statistical evaluation. Results: Combined RME and face mask therapy produced significant and favorable skeletal changes in both arches. The Class III incisal relationship was corrected by protrusion of the maxillary incisors and retrusion of the mandibular incisors. The soft tissue profile showed significant increase in convexity and facial height. Conclusion: Significant forward and downward displacement of the maxilla and an opening rotation of the mandible were observed as a result of RME and face mask therapy. The soft tissue profile also improved significantly. World J Orthod 2010;11:e10–e18.
Key words: rapid maxillary expansion, face mask, Arnett analysis, soft tissue, hard tissue